Excellence in Education

Virginia's education system is the key to our future. If a broader range of our children don't learn to read, think critically and analyze, then the future will indeed be difficult.

Offering a quality education for our students is a major issue with voters in Virginia. As the economy becomes more "technologically complicated" and the world more competitive, it is imperative that our young people be prepared for the realities of the future. With less than 35% of graduating high school seniors receiving a four-year college degree, it is clear that the ability of our K-12 public education system must be improved. And for our colleges and universities it is important that they offer quality and cost efficient education to those who attend our institutions of higher learning. This Center looks at the education system and offers creative alternatives to its current programs and policies based upon the Mission Statement of the Jefferson Institute.

February 2016

Helping Children, Saving Tax Dollars
Helping Children, Saving Tax Dollars — In 2014-2015, the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit offered nearly 1,400 low and moderate income students the opportunity for a better educational placement.  At the same time, it saved the Commonwealth of Virginia nearly $3 million in Standards of Quality funding as those students left the public system to attend a private school.  With a 65 percent tax credit, Virginia's tax credit scholarship program offers one of the smallest credits in the nation.  Raising the credit to 90 percent would stimulate more donations to scholarship foundations, relieve family financial strains by providing higher scholarships to poorer students, offer more choices to educationally at-risk students --- and not cost Virginia taxpayers a dime!  Read It Here!

February 2016

Jefferson Journal:  Why Virginia Needs a Charter School Amendment
Jefferson Journal: Why Virginia Needs a Charter School Amendment — By Chris Braunlich  Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Rob Bell have proposed a Virginia constitutional amendment permitting the State Board of Education to authorize p[ublic charter schools.  If passed this year by the General Assembly, it goes to the voters for approval in November.  Because charter schools remain relativesly unknown in Virginia, it's important to understand how they operate in other states, what the results have been, and why they have failed to take hold here in the Commonwealth. Read It Here!

October 2015

Choice for Pre-K Students
Choice for Pre-K Students — Today, there are more than 7,800 unfilled slots in the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program offering early childhood learning services to at-risk children.  They aren't filled because local governments can't match the funds or because they simply have no space.  Chris Braunlich, vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute, offered a solution to the General Assembly's Virginia Preschool Initiative Joint Subcommittee:  Use the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit to provide parents choices about the preschool program their child attends! (10/8/2015)  Read the Testimony Here!


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